With the exception of a four year adventure in Brooklyn, NY, Shannon is a lifelong Lawrencian. She was raised here by a community who cared and offered support throughout her youth, which was steeped in experiences of family violence and deep personal trauma. Without the community support offered by her neighbors, friends’ families, robust social services, and many wonderful teachers -- Shannon is certain her life would look differently today. Thankfully, the Douglas County Community planted early seeds of values Shannon now works to live by: mutual aid, justice, safety, and accountability.
Lucky to be educated by schools throughout Douglas County’s 2nd District, Shannon is a proud alumni of New York & Broken Arrow Elementary Schools, as well as Billy Mills Middle School where she humbly learned the history of Haskell Indian Nations University and the land where those school campuses were built. In 2003, Shannon graduated from Lawrence High School as her Senior Class President and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Budget.
During her time as a student at University of Kansas, Shannon proudly served as a Resident Assistant at Hashinger Hall during its last year in the original building (2004-2005). Working at KU Student Housing helped Shannon lean into her natural empathy skills, and her ability to lead by way of compassionate connection. Being an RA laid an early foundation for Shannon’s career in direct service and advocacy. Shannon Reid was named “Best Townie” by her peers and residents for the capacity she showed to connect folks with information and local resources that could help meet their needs. Priding herself on a deep commitment to the community that molded her by showing care, Shannon will actively listen to her constituents and be able to connect with ease to what she hears people say they need from their Commissioners.
Shannon moved to Brooklyn in 2006 after spending two life-changing summers working in upstate New York at Camp Fiver, the flagship program of Fiver Children’s Foundation in NYC. During her first paid non-profit job, Shannon had the opportunity to learn what active community building and empowerment could look like for young people living with injustice. At Fiver, she became the Program Director for LEAD teen campers in her second year, where she was able to build upon the leadership goals of the program by facilitating more dialogue about equity, privilege, and social responsibility. Of course she also loved to teach campers classic camp things like fishing, horseback riding, arts & crafts, and backpacking. She left for the city more eager to explore the path of public service, and was selected to be an AmeriCorps VISTA Member at Groundwork, Inc., a community based organization in East New York, Brooklyn that provides a wide scope of social services to neighborhood communities. Years later, Shannon was ready to come back home and decided to re-join AmeriCorps by dedicating another year of public service to helping coordinate opportunities for volunteerism with local non-profits through the United Way of Douglas County’s Roger Hill Volunteer Center. Her proudest project from that time was her development of the “Summer of Service” program where Douglas County youth could sign up for week-long volunteer projects at organizations throughout the entire county.
While promoting volunteerism in the community at large, Shannon also trained to become a volunteer advocate at GaDuGi SafeCenter (now the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center) between 2010-2014, where she gained the tools to support and empower survivors of violence. She quickly realized the need to increase both access and understanding of the local system responses for people in the community suffering abuse and exploitation. In February 2013, Shannon became the Court Advocacy Coordinator at The Willow Domestic Violence Center so she could directly impact the experiences of people navigating the legal system as a means to establish more safety for their families. She continues to serve in that role at The Willow today. Shannon’s 7+ years of self-studying local court procedures and how the public accesses those systems will bring to the County Commission hands-on experience with the barriers people face, along with creative solutions for how to do better for the health of an entire community.
Shannon and her partner, Bobbi Henson, live in the Prairie Park neighborhood where they enjoy spending their time in the yard doing outdoor projects and planting native pollinator gardens. Bobbi, an Air Force Academy graduate, currently works as a Software Engineer at Cerner. Together, they are committed to actively engaging in local politics and community organizing.
Shannon has a unique perspective on how local law enforcement, courts, and the county jail impact the lives of people living in Douglas County every day -- she knows change is needed. She believes justice, safety, and accountability are achievable goals for more people who live here when community stakeholders work collectively, and commit to centering the experiences of the most vulnerable voices. Shannon Reid believes transformation is possible, and hopes to soon bring a fresh perspective to the role of your 2nd District Douglas County Commissioner.
Proud East/SE Lawrence Townie, at Haskell Wetlands
(photo by Kelsey Hunter)